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Ready Set Sold with Bryan Vogt #19-04: When it comes to decks and patios. Always look to repair rather than replace!

September 30, 2017

Brian Vogt: Welcome back everyone to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host Brian Vogt. Thanks so much for staying with us.
We’ve been talking today about catching them at the curb, and why is that such an important thing. It’s not just a catchy phrase. We talked about earlier about how buyers literally, we’ve seen it more than a few times, will drive up to the house, and literally tell the agent, “Next.” They don’t look at the house. It just goes back to if the house isn’t maintained on the outside, it’s not going to be maintained on the inside.
So, with that said, is let’s move into decks and patios. The biggest thing I can tell you with decks and, the biggest issues that we see more times than not from buyers and their concerns, is the wobbly stairs or the wobbly railing. That could be around the deck, or even walking down the stairs. That is the number one thing that we see happening, and it’s such a simple fix. In most cases, it doesn’t take much. Whether or not the seller is able to or not,hire a handyman, and just make sure that’s secured and solid.
What we’ve seen is the people all of a sudden think that the deck has to be replaced, it must be no good, it must be bad. Those buyers that have written offers on many times, not always, but many times those offers have been much, much lower. Usually in protection of themselves, thinking that they’re going to have to put on a whole new deck. When the simple fix is usually just securing the stairs, securing the handrails, and rails around the deck itself. The railings around the deck, which usually most of them have. make sure you do that. It’s a simple thing.
Yes, you may have to replace the deck, but actually it’s very rare. And if you do have to replace the deck, many times you just have to replace the wood that has been rotted out, depending on how well it’s been maintained through the course of how long the sellers owned the house. Sometimes it’s just a few boards. But safety also is important, because you have some rotten sections, you don’t want somebody falling through and yes, we have stories of that happening.
Luckily we’ve not heard too many of anybody getting seriously injured, but we have had some twisted ankles and some scraped up ankles and even knees. So, you don’t want that as a homeowner, too. You don’t want that liability.
So, making sure that you have those taken care of, and that’s why decks are beautiful, they’re fantastic, but if you have those things as I mentioned, it’s going to cause a concern for buyers. And of course, you always want to have it stained and in good condition. As we’re moving into October, moving into November, December, that may not be always possible. It’s great if you can, but if you can’t, as long as it’s maintained, you want to make sure that it’s sturdy and steady, that’s the main thing. And yes, it’s nice if you can get it stained, but it’s not always the end of the world. People kind of get that, especially with the time of the year.
With patios, I think the thing with patios that you have to keep in mind is make sure they’re swept off, especially in the backyard. Make sure there’s no leaves on them. Make sure people can see them. When we run into problems we’ve seen sellers do, is maybe the patio isn’t the best, it’s a concrete patio and maybe it isn’t the best shape. And they will rip it out, and they will spend a thousand dollars more to put a brick patio in. Again, I would urge you to reconsider that. In most cases, if you just maintain what you have, a concrete patio, that’s fine. If you want to, you can put the brick in, but it’s not going to give you a return on investment.
The same thing is if you do need to get a deck replaced, strongly encourage you not to go with one of those 25 or 50 year decks. Okay? It’s not that it’s not a good product, but again, I’ve seen sellers spend 20, $25,000 on these decks, and there’s not a return on investment. The appraisal, it’s just not going to appraise out, even if you try to have it puton ,the appraiser just knocks it out and says no. A deck is a deck is a deck. So, you want to make sure that you have that.
The other thing too, and what I sort of meant to bring up before, the front door. Catching people at the front door is really important. Some of the little things become big things, and that is when people walk up to the front door, did you paint the door? I mean, the front door? Is it weathered? Having just a fresh coat of paint, doesn’t take too much to do that, makes a whole different appearance to buyers, and different impression when they get closer up to the door.
Also, making sure that lock works. We just had this happen, actually one my agents could not get into a house because the lock was stuck, and they just couldn’t get in. The buyers just got frustrated, there was some other houses they wanted to look at, and in this situation unfortunately for those particular sellers that they couldn’t get into, the buyers bought another house. They never got to see the house, just because of that silly lock.
Look, I get it. Most people are entering through the attached garage. You never use that front door, and the only time that you have that key, you search, look for a key to give to your realtor so they can put it in the lock box, be able to show it. But make sure, make sure that that is maintained.
One of the simplest fixes, one of the very simplest fixes is get some WD-40, spray it on a key, prefer not to put it on a door lock. It could stain as it rolls down the door. And just work it a few times. 95% of the time, that’s all you have to do. Again, those little things do mean a lot, so you want to make sure you have those things in place.
Painting the front door. Making sure that the lock is working. They seem pretty simple, and most sellers get that. But there are occasions where sellers don’t, and it can have some tragic consequences of losing a sale, as well as situations where you don’t knowif the buyers never get inside the house, who knows what could have happened?
You want to make sure you have those things we talked about, again, the decks. Don’t over improve the patios. Putting a brick patio is not going to give you the value that most sellers think, so keeping what you have is a good thing. And again, the locks, painting the doors, and maintaining the decks. Do those things, along with the other things we talked about earlier, about the yard, and you’re going to have some fantastic success. You’re going to have people that are going to eyeing your house, and that’s what you really want. You want them to be saying, “Oh my gosh, this doesn’t have too much landscaping. It has just enough, and the yard’s in great shape, and the trees are easy to walk past.”
With that said, I’m always offering the book. The book is absolutely free. So many people have already gotten it, and I do appreciate that. The feedback’s been very positive. I do appreciate that too. But go to and not .com,, not .com, and go get the book. It’s absolutely free. It’ll be delivered to you by mail. No questions asked.

With that, we’re going to do the tip of the week coming up next, and that has to do with retaining walls, so I’ll leave you with that and see you in a few.
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